Auto review by Veeno dewan

The Mazda  MX5-GS-P with the Sport Package is the ultimate combination for performance buyers, offering a an almost perfect factory-prepared track-ready car.     The as tested GS-P arrives in the convertible format and its speedy bits include : Bilstein dampers, limited-slip differential, and front strut tower brace for better cornering and handling. The optional Sport Package also adds performance Brembo front brakes, 17-inch forged BBS wheels, and sporty Recaro sports  for the much- needed  grip and bolstering. The  MX-5 GS-P ($37,200) trims also add passenger headrest speakers, heated exterior mirrors, noise-isolating windshield, heated black cloth-trimmed seats with grey stitching, and LED daytime running lights.

New updates for the 2021MX5 ( priced from $33,200 in Canada.) include: wireless Apple Carplay in the GT trim, along with gorgeous optional white leather Nappa seat covers and accompanying white door and dash trim. There was a 2020 mild  power bump up to 181 horsepower from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine at a higher 7,000 rpm and 151 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm.  Maximum engine speed has been raised from 6,800 rpm to 7,500 rpm. Torque has been increased from low to high engine speeds, with faster response times for the engine. The transmission is either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic gearbox.

We tested a 2021 Mazda MX-5 GSP with:  the six- speed manual transmission model, SKYACTIV-G 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine, SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual transmission. Also added was the sport suspension with Bilstein® shock absorbers, Limited Slip Differential (LSD), strut tower bar, LED headlights with signature lighting, LED Daytime Running Lights, and LED rear combination lights Interior wise there is a:7″ colour touchscreen display with Mazda noise compensation technology including driver and passenger headrest speakers, and subwoofer. Also included was: SiriusXM® satellite radio, SiriusXM Traffic Plus and Travel Link® services (includes complimentary 5-year subscription), navigation, telescopic steering wheel, push button starts, advanced keyless entry system, air conditioning with automatic climate controls.

Two average-sized adults will feel snug and comfortable in the cozy cabin. The MX-5 interior highlights include simple legible gauges and well-designed ergonomic controls that remain true to their roots with the focus on being a driver’s car.  Interior storage is tight, this being a small narrow roadster – there are two removable cupholders, a small center console/armrest, and a cubby hole under the bottom of the center stack that can take a phone or wallet.  Sadly, the trunk is minuscule at only 121L cargo capacity.  Take soft squishy bags!

The driving experience is so pure in the MX-5, that even novice drivers can carve corners with precision and skill.  The steering is light and very responsive with excellent feedback.  It’s the epitomes of point-and-shoot driving. The formula is delightfully simple and works. Beautifully engineered handling, a rewarding six-speed manual and a responsive four-cylinder engine providing adequate power. Enough said.

The combination of superbly matched engine, transmission, and chassis is simply wonderfully executed. The MX-5 is truly in its element on winding country roads, a day at the track or just blasting around with no place to go. It is so small and light and instills any novice driver with confidence. The six-speed manual transmission’s clutch is weighty only to a point as to give the driver feedback while the shifter almost effortlessly “snicks” from one cog to another.

The sense of speed is what matters most in a Mazda MX-5. This is Miata’s greatest trick and always has been. experiencing thrust through the torque-rich power band (90% of all the torque is on tap between 2,000 and about 6,500 rpm) is addictive. The Performance Bilstein dampers and pumped-up Brembo brakes add to the supple handling and confidence, no fade braking.

Driving a Mazda MX-5 well requires some practice to obtain the skill and dexterity, and when done right, the satisfaction that flows through the driver is like a good buzz – this is what charms everyone. Fuel economy is: (Premium Gasoline in L/100 km) is rated at: 9.0 city; 7.0 highway. The downsides are few, the interior will be tight for the larger-bodied.  I for one would err on the side of the RF Targa as opposed to the soft top. The hardtop offers security, it’s quieter inside, and the vibration-free cabin makes it an everyday car. Still,  the convertible offers superb thrills.   Note, the Mazda MX5 GS-P is not a cheap option for what is a very small two-seater. Still, it is worth the money if as purist daily driving thrills are what you need. There is a reason the  MX-5 is the best-selling roadster in history- It’s called FUN!

2021 Mazda MX-5 Priced from $32,200 -$ 40,200 

Mazda MX-5 GS- P Edition priced from $37,200.

Website: www.mazda.ca

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